By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Junior Liam Ford pitched the final two outs for his team and then got a walk-off, game-winning RBI as top seeded Cooperstown rallied to beat No. 4 Pulaski, 10-9, in the Section III Class C semifinals Thursday, June 10.
Senior Derek Moore led off the inning reaching on a throwing error. He then stole two bases and scored on Ford’s walk-off single.
Cooperstown Coach Frank Miosek credited his team with overcoming a rough start, after falling behind 4-0 and 8-5.
“We might have been concerned, … but we never panicked,” Miosek said. “We stayed together as a team.”
Cooperstown rallied for five runs in the bottom of the third inning, when Chris Ubner hit a three-run home run and Treston Emerick plated two more runs on a single.
However, Pulaski took the lead back the next inning, off of reliever Alex Poulson, who replaced starter Kendall Haney after two and two third innings. Joe Brodeur has a three-run home run to right field and Tanner Trust got the other RBI on a single to right field.
Cooperstown fought back again, getting a solo run in the fourth on Poulson’s RBI single, a solo run in the fifth on Moore’s sacrifice fly and two runs in the sixth inning when Pulaski reliever Jake Krebs threw wild pitches that scored pinch runner Bryson Whitaker and Alex Hascup to take a 9-8 lead into the seventh inning.
Pulaski tied the game in the seventh on Rowan Beattie’s sacrifice fly to right field. However, Ford entered the game in the top of the seventh, relieving Emerick on the mound and got the final two outs in the inning, before his hit scored Moore to end the game in the bottom of the inning.
Cooperstown Assistant Coach Matt Hazzard told his players the effort was one of the greatest team wins the team has had, and Miosek credited big plays in the field and on the bases that helped keep the game close.
“You have got to be proud of yourselves,” Miosek said to his team.
Connor Payne took the loss for Pulaski.
Cooperstown (13-1) will play No. 3 Port Byron in the Section III Class C finals. Port Byron upset No. 2 Thousand Islands, 5-1, Thursday.
The game is scheduled to be played at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at Damaschke Field in Oneonta.